Nov 122013
 

I’m over the moon to have had Hodgepodge Mittens released this week in Holla Knits!

This pattern was sort of my challenge to myself to K.I.S.S. (keep it simple, stupid).  I so love designing colorwork but many of my patterns tend to be involved and perhaps intimidating to knitters with less experience.  I wanted to design colorwork that was easy to knit but didn’t look it.  These mittens have full charts but each row has a 4-stitch repeat to make it rather easy to follow.

I’m super excited to have been given the chance to collaborate with Holla Knits and Allyson Dykhuizen!  Allyson and I have much different aesthetics when it comes to design and this was a great opportunity to collaborate on making something slightly out of our regular routine for both of us! I think the pairing worked pretty well!

The whole Holla Knits Accessories collection is so fun!  Each pattern is so unique and has such a fun playful feel, my favorite type of design.  I’m so happy to be a part of it!  I am looking forward to carving out a little time to try to knit one or two of them myself.  I’ve had KaPOM on my mental to-do list since I first saw it.  I hope you all find a favorite in this collection too!

 

 November 12, 2013  patterns Tagged with: , ,  1 Response »
Oct 312013
 


Oh, Pandora, the trouble your curiosity caused! You couldn’t re-trap the evil you let loose but the moment of its escape is captured on these mitts.  Simple clean garter stitch lines the cuffs and edgings, leaving your fingers free to open mysterious boxes at your own risk. Both the right and left mitts are fully charted.


These were such a blast to design.  This was a fun collaboration with Christa at Nerd Girl Yarns, one yarn dyer who I’ve been wanting to work with for a while.  Her colorways are so inspiring and so much fun to knit up.  If you don’t know their yarn, you should remedy that.

The Details:

Yarn:  Two colors of fingering weight yarn.  The sample above is shown in Nerd Girl Yarn Bounce & Stomp.
Yardage:  About 110yds of MC and 90yds of CC
Gauge:  34sts / 42 rows = 4 ” in stranded colorwork
Suggested needle size:  US size 2 for the body, US size 1 for the cuffs

Price: $5

Find this pattern on Ravelry

 October 31, 2013  patterns, Uncategorized Tagged with: , , ,  1 Response »
Oct 282013
 


Sisyphus, king of Ephyra, was condemned by the gods to roll a boulder to the top of a hill for all eternity, only to have it roll back down every time he got near the top.  The idea of this constant, fruitless struggle translates well to colorwork but the theme has no bearing on the actual knitting.  The dead simple geometric images make for a super easy knit, even for knitters who have little to no experience with stranded knitting.  These are an excellent pick for those who are just cutting their teeth on colorwork!

The sample is knit with Knit Picks Palette, which comes in a bazillion different colors to choose from.  I love the sunset feel of the Cornmeal and Forest Heather seen here!

The Details:

Yarn:  Two colors of fingering weight yarn.  The sample above is shown in Knit Picks Palette.
Yardage:  About 110yds of MC and 90yds of CC
Gauge:  30sts/ 34rows = 4″  for Small and 28sts/ 30 rows = 4″ for Large in stranded pattern
Suggested needle size:  US size 2 for the Small, US size 3 for the Large, plus one set of smaller needles for the ribbing
Price: $5

Find this pattern on Ravelry

 October 28, 2013  patterns, Uncategorized Tagged with: , , ,  1 Response »
May 082013
 

So, so excited to have this new collection out!  Cryptozoology - the study of and search for animals whose existence is not substantiated by mainstream science – is an homage to all the weird mythical (or not?) creatures that roam this planet.  Six patterns span the gamut of desert dwellers to arctic wanderers.

The cover shows the Neck Kraken scarf in Knit Picks Gloss DK.  This entertaining scarf has tentacles in place of fringe, plus a hidden loop on the underside to draw one end through and keep it snug around your neck.

My absolute favorite of the bunch is Bigfoot + Yeti.  These felted slippers come in six different easily customizable sizes.  These are done in Knit Picks Wool of the Andes Worsted, then felted.  I can’t express to you enough how perfect fitting these things are.  There is shaping that makes these slip on your feet like buttah.

Sea Serpent Squish is a soft toy for the Nessie fans out there.  At a width of 19″, it would also make a super fun throw pillow!  This is worked up in Knit Picks Biggo.

Chupacabra Mittens feature the feared ‘Goat Sucker’ of Mexico and Central America.  El Chupacabra’s menacing face graces the backs of the hands while goats tile the palms.  Knit Picks Palette is used for these.

Knit Picks Stroll and Stroll Tonal blend for this easy colorwork Mermaid Cowl.  At a distance the image, like the mystical Mermaid, is hard to spot at first.  Upon closer inspection, you can see the tiled mermaid silhouettes.


Rounding out the Cryptid medley is the one closest to home for me, the Jackalope!  The Jackalope is a super cute jack rabbit with a twist.  This version is quite floppy and squishy.   This guy also uses Wool of the Andes Worsted.


Whew!  There you go!  These six are available on the Knit Picks website, as either individual downloads, an ebook, or as a physical book!  Check it out!

 May 8, 2013  contest, patterns Tagged with: , ,  2 Responses »
May 062013
 


Browns Crossing is the old name of the Colorado town of Nederland. The tiny 1.5 square mile town is rich in characteristic Rocky Mountain charm but still retains much of the grit of the original 1800s settlement, a combination that I adore.

Like its namesake, Browns Crossing is beautiful without being cutesy, utilitarian without being pedestrian. A scarf-like length and width allows for it to be worn quite a few different ways for added versatility.

The yarn for this, Cephalopod Traveller, is incredible.  It’s super soft and the colors are some of the most beautiful I have ever seen.  When I was at Stitches West this February I was getting to the point of overload with all the yarns to look at and fondle, but when I came across their booth I was rejuvenated and excited, like I was seeing something entirely new.  I want one of every colorway they do!!

The Details:

Yarn: Cephalopod Traveller, 2 skeins in Gallifrey (how could I pass up yarn with that name??)

Yardage: Approximately 560yds

Gauge: 18sts and 24 rows = 4 inches / 10cm in Stockinette st

Suggested needle size: US size 10

Price: $5

Find this pattern on Ravelry!

 

 May 6, 2013  knitting, patterns Tagged with: , ,  5 Responses »
Sep 252012
 

I swear the city of Prague glows at night.  Unlike many western cities with their neon and eerily green-blue nights, central Prague radiates this love with its warm lighting.  It’s so welcoming and cozy, like the illumination itself is wrapping you up and keeping you warm.  This sensation is what inspired this cowl.

I have two pet peeves with most cowls for winter-wear: 1) looseness in the neck makes them drafty and 2) my lower chest often feels unloved and naked unless I have my jacket zipped.  This cowl was my answer to both.

Praha is worked flat then seamed in the back. Ribbing creates a very elastic cowl, allowing no need for closures. Short rows give it a close fitting shaping.


The Details:

Yarn: DK weight yarn. The sample above is shown Tosh DK

Yardage: Approximately 150yds

Gauge: 26sts and 25 rows = 4 inches / 10cm in k3p2 ribbing, unstretched

Suggested needle size: US size 7 and 8

Price: $4

Find this pattern on Ravelry!

 September 25, 2012  patterns, Uncategorized, Year of Color Tagged with: , , ,  No Responses »
Jul 102012
 

Warning: it is impossible to wear these gloves or mitts without feeling the need to wildly wiggle your fingers!

This is such an addictive pattern.  Seriously, I’ve knit three versions and I still want to make more.  It’s one of those where you finish one and immediately want to start another with new colors.  Oh, who am I kidding, I was already planning the next before I’d finish the first glove of a pair.  I never, ever take commissions to knit things but I have already accepted one for these since the person who suggested them came up with a really fun version that I was eager to attempt.

The background and palm-side consist of an easy to memorize four row repeat while the back shows off the kraken whose tentacles are your fingers!  The fingerless version works best when the kraken color is close to your skin color, allowing the two to blend together.  For this reason, I highly suggest Jamieson Shetland Spindrift or Knit Picks Palette, both of which come in an array of neutral tones.

The pattern includes four charts.  There are separate left and right charts for two versions, one for light colored kraken and one for dark.  There are also instructions for working a full glove or the fingerless version.  Two different sizes use the same charts, the sizing determined by the needles and gauge.  Lots of room for customization here!

And hello there, little baby cephalopod on the thumb gussets!  Try to hide but you are oh-so cute that you are hard to miss!

 

The Details:

Yarn:  Two colors of fingering weight yarn.  100% wool will work best.  The samples above
    are shown in Knit Picks Palette.
Yardage:  164-240yds, depending on size and version.
Gauge:  30sts/ 34rows = 4″  for Small and 28sts/ 30 rows = 4″ for Large in stranded pattern
Suggested needle size:  US size 2 for the Small, US size 3 for the Large, plus one set of
    smaller needles for the ribbing

Price: $6

Find this pattern on Ravelry!

 July 10, 2012  patterns Tagged with: , , , , , ,  2 Responses »
Apr 302012
 

It should be obvious to everyone by now that I love making toys.  There is a moment that occurs in toy making that is so satisfying when you take this limp, two dimensional piece, stuff it full of guts and let it’s final shape bloom.  It’s like the moment of birth for a toy!  One of my biggest pet peeves about knit toys are when they aren’t stuffed properly.  I get so disproportionally annoyed by it, I can’t even fully express it.  I thought I’d show how I go about giving a toy its innards in case anyone is curious.

Here is the beginning of a toy.  Eventually this will be part of a new pattern, but for now I’ll leave it as an abstract.  Anyway, I depending on how large the toy is, I usually like to stuff as I go.  My general rule of thumb is that I always want to be able to stuff with my fingers, so I never leave the to-be-stuffed part deeper than my fingers can reach in.  In the photo below the part of the toy before the bend has already been stuffed.  The stuffing to the right is the amount that will fill in the rest.


Here is all the stuffing pressed into the toy.  I pushed the stuffing down firmly, really compacting it.  See how it made ladders?  Eek!


Here you can see how much it’s pressed down.  You want a well stuffed toy but this is too much.  If you had a dark yarn you’d have little spots of the light stuffing showing through.  To me this is worse than someone chewing tinfoil while dragging their nails on a chalkboard.  Chills up my spine, I tell you!


I have never personally milked a cow but I’ve seen it done plenty.  For those of you who know the motion I’m talking about, this is about what I do with my toys to get the stuffing situated properly.  Starting at the bottom, squeeze and stretch the toy, pressing the stuffing upward.  Roll the object back and forth between your fingers to move the stuffing up.  When you see no more ladders, you’re good!


See how much better that looks!  Nice and smooth with even stitches.  Ahh, I love it.


Here you can see how much the stuffing was pushed up.  It may not look like that much of a change from here but it makes a ton of difference in the feel of the finished product.


So, people, don’t overstuff!  When in doubt, too little stuffing is way better than too much.  We neurotic toy people thank you.

 

 

 April 30, 2012  knitting, tutorial Tagged with: , , ,  2 Responses »
Apr 032012
 

I’m on a dog kick, apparently!

I had such a blast designing and knitting Sputnik the Magnificent that I was a bit sad when the pattern was posted and it was all done with.  Obviously I still had some stranded toys in me.

Strelka had many inspirations, most of which came from childhood favorite dogs.  In Strelka is a little of both Droopy Dog and George P. Dog, plus a large heaping of the Fisher Price Little People dog.  Although as an adult I am not much of a dog person, I adored them as a child due to these wacky cartoon versions.  I hope Strelka carries along some of these same characteristics well!

 

The Details:

Yarn: fingering weight wool, shown here in Knit Picks Palette
Yardage: approximately 125yds in MC (shown here in light gray) and 100yds CC (shown here in dark gray)
Gauge: 34sts and 38 rows = 4 inches / 10cm in stockinette stitch
Suggested needle size: US size 1, either 4 DPNs or one long circular
Finished measurements:  approximately 13.5″ tall
Price: $5


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Find this pattern on Ravelry

 April 3, 2012  patterns Tagged with: , , , ,  3 Responses »
Mar 172012
 

It’s a gorgeous 75 degree March day here. So what to do? Why, drink scalding hot coffee and knit wool sweaters in the sun, duh!

Best place in the world at this moment!

I really have other things I should be working on (more patterns!) but for some reason I can’t put down my Paper Dolls that I started last week. It probably has something to do with this being the first thing that I knit in over a month that was not my own pattern. It’s nice to not be thinking about or editing a pattern while knitting it, and I don’t have myself to curse when I find a mistake (although Kate Davies’ pattern is very nicely written!).  I’m super excited about the customized yoke on this one.  I can’t wait to get to it!

Also on the agenda for today: some book reading!  Yeah!  Erich Fromm isn’t exactly sunny beach reading, but it’ll hold my attention so that will have to do.

 

 

 

 March 17, 2012  WIP Tagged with: , ,  1 Response »